Congratulations are in order for Hollywood rising stars, Lashana Lynch and Ariana Debose! Each of these women was nominated for the 2022 BAFTA EE Rising Star Award.
The British Academy Film Awards’ only award voted on by the public, the EE Rising Star Award recognizes an “emerging actor or actress who has demonstrated exceptional talent and ambition and has begun to capture the imagination of the British public,” according to the organization’s official awards page.
This year’s nominees were announced by 2021 Rising Star winner Bukky Bakray, in recognition of their “exceptional talent in film” demonstrated over the past 12 months.
This is a prime category for both Lynch and Debose, whose profiles have each risen exponentially in the last year due to breakout roles in wildly popular, heritage film properties.
Lynch has been a star on the rise since her appearance in 2019’s Marvel blockbuster Captain Marvel, but won the hearts and attention of fans and critics alike as Nomi, the new 007 agent in the James Bond hit No Time to Die.
“As you know, there’s a narrative about strong Black women that I’m really not trying to perpetuate in this movie,” she told ESSENCE on the red carpet at th film’s premiere. “I want to ensure that we are really challenging the narratives and also pushing ones forward that make me feel good about being in this industry, and that’s what we’ve done with Nomi.”
Debose’s breakout role camee from filling some monumental shoes in Stephen Spielberg’s West Side Story remake last holiday season. Adding an Afro-Latina perspective to a much-beloved character, she was able to breathe fresh life into the material while still respecting its roots.
“I’m very grateful that Stephen Spielberg and Tony Christian invited me to the table, and validated my lived experience by allowing my experience as a Black woman, an Afro-Latina, to inform this character,” she told ESSENCE upon the film’s release. “It allows this character to stand on her own two feet because she is so massively different from Anitas we have seen before just by that one fact.”
You can vote for either of these ladies, or any of the other EE Rising Star nominees HERE.